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Hot Topics - Tuesday, Dec 7

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Climate Migration and the Importance of Host-Recovery Cities in Disaster Recovery
Jordanna Rubin*, AECOM

While advances in technology and climate modeling have continued to improve forecasting of natural disasters with increasing precision, little is known about the impacts and consequences of human migration or “climate refugees.” Even less is known about the impacts to the cities that work to absorb the dispersed communities. Because the United States doesn’t have a comprehensive way to track evacuees, little is known about these populations that end up in shelters or move to other cities. This has prevented the adoption of policies, interventions, and funding for the “Host Recovery Cities” to help evacuees rebuild their lives.

These Host Recovery Cities, at many times, are not located in a federally declared disaster area and as a result, are not eligible for federal recovery dollars. However, it is the Host Recovery City that must absorb and support the dispersed communities. These cities must quickly pivot to ensure that infrastructure can support an increase in demand, identify ways to cover the cost of short- and long-term changes, and ensure that safety and social services can support the city’s population.

Current Sustainability Practices of U.S. Transit Agencies
Lindsay Ayzenshtat and Antoinette Qualiata, Dewberry Engineers Inc.; Cris Liban, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority

This panel will offer attendees an overview of current U.S. transit agencies sustainability practices, along with specific examples of these practices in use. The panelists will offer takeaways on lessons learned through the process of incorporating sustainability into current practices, along with insight as to the role that transit agencies play in making communities sustainable – and areas of focus in order to do so effectively.

This panel features speakers from several of the country’s largest transit systems, discussing current sustainability practices across the U.S. transportation industry.

Antoinette Quagliata, ENV SP, LEED AP, will provide an overview of transit sustainability initiatives across the U.S., including federal updates. She will offer a broad view of resiliency practices and tools in use by major transit agencies, such as Envision®, the LEED® green building program, agency policies, funding strategies, and APTA sustainability commitment. Panelists from Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority and proposed agencies NJ TRANSIT and Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority will each describe sustainability practices within their respective agencies, share success stories, and offer lessons learned in developing their programs.

These brief presentations will be accompanied by a moderated discussion on the future of sustainability within transit agencies, and how to measure success.

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